Different styles and types of jewelry call out to different types of people. Heirloom jewelry, for instance, have the classy antique feel that appeals to just a certain population of jewelry wearers. Victorian pieces, on the other hand, capture the grandeur that only a few can confidently carry, while Mid-Century jewelry have the precious feminine vibe that whimsical people love.
In that same way, the sophisticated pieces form the jewelry brand, Maria Black, might not be meant for everyone, but all can take a peek into its collection and find that there’s a lot to love about the neat and uncluttered pieces of the modern brand—a philosophy that its owner, Maria Black has come to believe in over her last few years in the business.
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Maria Black has both Danish and Irish roots, and grew up loving drawing and classical music—stuff that she had going that were closest to being artistic. She had been to and lived in beautiful cities such as Copenhagen and Dublin, yet it is in London where she felt most at home. Her passion for jewelry-making though, was discovered in Ibiza, where she spent fun times with her friends and trying out making some accessories. What eventually sparked an idea that jewelry-making could be her career was when a stranger bought one of the earrings she made in that same trip.
Mari later on decided to get a goldsmith degree (and finishes with high honors) which gave her more freedom as a jewelry designer. She was able to bring to life the pieces she designed and eventually led her to land a job as an apprentice for a Scandinavian designer. She trained for four years until she became a master jeweler and won a design grant where she was personally congratulated by Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II. Eventually, Maria was able to launch her own line and eponymous label in London, entering the jewelry industry with a loud bang.
The eponymous brand, Maria Black Jewellery, has amazed the world of jewelry and fashion right from the get go. He sculptural pieces that launched with the brand in 2010 has immediately captured the attention and fondness of bloggers, celebrities and fashion editors, leading to the next few years of frenzy (the good kind) for the brand and the designer. Just three years after its launch, Maria Black opened a flagship store after numerous client visits to her office in Copenhagen.
It’s hard to keep a list on celeb faves among the brand’s pieces—there’s the Monocle necklace featuring a spinning circle, bracelets with rings connected to them through a chain, tiny rings that can be worn on the upper portion of the finger, and the RI-earrings inspired by Rihanna, a Maria Black fan herself. Rihanna is just one of the long list of celebrities who have adorned themselves with pieces from the brand, including the Kardashians, Ellie Goulding, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scarlett Johansson, Norah Jones, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Alexa Chung, and many others.
Maria Black’s main philosophy is this: keep evolving. The brand doesn’t want to stay in one place, to stagnate—new techniques should be developed, and new territories should be conquered. For the founder and main designer, Maria, every piece should speak to her personally, as the process she goes through designing them is somehow a personal expression of the different phases of her life. She even mentioned the collections reflecting the stages of love, confusion, hurt, laughter, and all other emotions she has gone through.
But beyond the emotional significance of the jewelry pieces, they are certified standouts because of the impressive sophistication that they all possess. Their uniqueness also make them more interesting, especially as Maria herself is fond of finding gorgeous tweaks that make the pieces look stunning while avoiding extra piercings.
Personal idols and influences of Maria had been her main inspirations in designing the brand’s collections. A special inspiration that constantly appears on her mood board is David Bowie. Another renowned jeweller she looks up to is Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe, who designed the first ever wristwatch produced by Georg Jensen.
But aside from inspirational human beings, Maria gets inspiration from her grandma’s house, Japanese art and traditions, as well as anything with simple designs carried in strong silhouettes. She translates all these inspirations to designs and then shape them into metal pieces. Maria loves to work with metals, and it is apparent with the brand’s collections and flagship pieces. According to her, gold has a sensual promise while silver is very carefree—qualities that she is fascinated with. Even in working with metals, she wants to imbibe the beauty of the process and see the twisting of lines to create the jewelry.
While recently, we’ve seen the incorporation of gemstones in the brand’s pieces, a majority of its collections, especially the first one used mainly metals, to remove the distraction that stones might bring. Geometric silhouettes, neat lines, uncluttered-looking textures, and repetitive patterns have been the main elements of the brand’s jewelry. They were all meant to be layered and worn together, as if the pieces are forming intricate patterns in your wrists, fingers, or décolletage.
The first Maria Black collection features a hint of the minimalist Danish vibe, filled with inspiration from the Camden’s punk rockers. The Disruption collection, on the other hand, has a more playful and innovative take on jewelry—accommodating more customizable features including the chains’ “slider ball” and a newly added hoop locks. Maria herself adores the hydra maxi earring from the same collection, mainly because of its versatility to match a range of different fashion styles. But like any other piece from the brand, she leaves a reminder that it is meant to be mixed and not match—the bottomline of all the label’s interchangeable pieces.
With all that the brand has achieved in just a short span of time, there are still a lot that its founder wants to achieve, a few of which include an even more prominent online presence and establish a name in Japan. But above all of the milestones, the young designer and her young brand just want to have a great time doing what they’re supposed to do: bring to the world the gorgeous pieces that everyone can love and appreciate.